I spent way too much time defining happiness in the wrong way. I focused on how I didn’t have it, cursing it for not “coming” to me, and thinking that happiness is something that just “happens” instead of thinking of it as a tangible thing that I can build for myself. I actually had to reach the bottom floor of a personal breakdown before I figured out that happiness really can’t be bought in any form and that is not just something that appears randomly one day.
For me, reaching the bottom allowed me to see how I could create happiness for myself. If you are starting to feel as if a tumble down might be necessary before you can really get started building the life you want, I have some ideas for you:
Name Your Fear.
This is the first step toward creating happiness for yourself. Why? Because your fears are usually the main thing blocking you. Think about it: What scares you? What is the thing that keeps you up at night? Have you ever acknowledged your fear out loud?
Fear of not being successful is what keeps me up at night. Prior to making some changes in my life, I was spending way too much time subscribing to my own limiting beliefs. One day I decided to write down, “I am afraid of not being successful” on a sheet of paper. Next, I wrote down all of the reasons why lack of success freaks me out. I discovered that the real thing I am afraid of is not “appearing” to be successful. I realized that this directly relates to some of the unwise decisions I have made in the past few years.
You may never get over the fear (I still fear being perceived as an unsuccessful person), but I am able to keep it in check and tell it to shut the hell up when I need to. Acknowledging what freaks you out helps you to move forward. Naming the fear helps you see it and control it.
Caring About What Others Think Is A Waste of Time.
Once you name the fear, you might realize that the thing you are scared of has more to do with other people than it does with you. I pride myself on being a strong woman who is capable of going after what I want, but I somewhere deep inside I want people to approve of the moves I make.
Putting too much emphasis on caring about what people think of you, your dreams, your ideas, your plans, is detrimental to any desire you have to build a life that works for you. It hurts to think that people don’t approve of what you are doing, but it’s your life. Why waste time building your life around someone’s vision for yourself just because you are afraid of what they may think?
Break Rules Frequently
At this age, the pressure to conform is tremendous. Everyone wants us to play by the rules society has set up for us. Honestly, most of these “rules” are silly sayings that get repeated until people accept them. As we age, it becomes difficult for us to do something different. While I was in L. A., my friends and I were discussing the whole “You must stay in a job for X amount of years” rule. The more we talked about it, the more we could identify it as a load of crap. Why should you stick out the misery instead of finding an opportunity that would challenge you and make you happy to do what you do because of some stupid societal rule? Break “rules” as you see fit.
Tell me, what do you think is blocking you from creating happiness?